Lecture Series in 2011-2012

Unless otherwise noted all lectures will be in Psychology 1312 on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m.


Sep 29, 2011
Stress and Health Across the Lifespan

Dr. Shelley E. Taylor is a Distinguished Professor of Social Psychology and Health Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles. Professor Taylor received her Ph.D. in psychology from Yale University, and after professorships at Yale and Harvard joined the faculty of UCLA in 1979. Her research interests include the psychological and social origins and moderators of biological responses to stress, socio-emotional resources and positive illusions, and social support. Professor Taylor is the recipient of a number of awards, most notably election to the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the American Psychological Association's Distinguished Scientific Contribution to Psychology Award, the William James Fellow Award of the Association of Psychological Science, the Donald Campbell Award in Social Psychology, a 10-year Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health, an Outstanding Scientific Contribution Award in Health Psychology, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association. She is the author of more than 350 publications in journals and books and is the author of Social Cognition, Positive Illusions, The Tending Instinct, and Health Psychology.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in the Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd floor.

Oct 27, 2011
Feeling the Future: Evidence for Anomalous Retroactive Influences on Human Emotion and Cognition

Dr. Daryl J. Bem is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at Cornell University. Professor Bem received his Ph. D. at the University of Michigan, and was a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University before joining the Cornell faculty in 1978. His self-perception theory is one of the major theories in social psychology and this research led to a major theoretical debate with cognitive dissonance theorists in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He has studied personality consistency across the life-span, the origins of sexual orientation, and the existence of extra-sensory perception or psi phenomena. This latter work, published in Psychological Bulletin and the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has been the center of much popular (e.g., New York Times, Colbert Report) and academic attention and will be the focus of his Sage lecture.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in the Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd floor.

Dec 01, 2011
Insights into Human Cognition from Intracranial Recording

Dr. Robert Knight is the Evan Rauch Professor of Neuroscience, Professor of Psychology, and the Director of the Helen Willis Neuroscience Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, and an Adjunct Professor of Neurology and Neurosurgery at the University of California, San Francisco. Professor Knight received a M.D. from Northwestern University and completed his residency in the Department of Neurology from the University of California, San Diego. He then did a post-doctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, where he received neurophysiological training under the direction of Drs. Steven Hillyard and Robert Galambos. Dr. Knight’s research is focused on the study of human behavior with an emphasis on the role of subdivisions of frontal cortex in goal-directed behavior. He achieves this using a variety of approaches including the classic neuropsychological lesion method coupled with scalp EEG and direct cortical recording (electrocorticography; ECoG) in patients with implanted electrodes for neurosurgical reasons. The neuropsychological-EEG approach has provided insights into the prefrontal dependent networks supporting working memory, selective attention, novelty processing, social interaction and contextual processing.  The ECoG work has helped define the central role of ultra-high frequency oscillations and inter-frequency coupling in human behavior, language processing and motor control.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in the Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd floor.

Jan 26, 2012
How our hands help us think

Dr. Susan Goldin-Meadow is the Beardsley Ruml Distinguished Service Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago. She earned her BA from Smith College and her MA and Ph. D. in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research examines which aspects of language development are sensitive to linguistic and environmental input by identifying the "resilient" properties of language through studying children who have not been exposed to conventional linguistic input. The children she and her collaborators study are deaf with hearing losses so extensive that they cannot naturally acquire oral language and were born to hearing parents who have not yet exposed them to sign language. Her research also explores the spontaneous gestures that hearing adults and children produce as they speak. She was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005, has published over one hundred scientific papers, and is the author of two books, The Resilience of Language and Hearing Gesture.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in the Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd floor.

Mar 01, 2012
The Emotional Brain

Dr. Joseph LeDoux is a University Professor, Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science, and Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at New York University. Professor LeDoux received his Ph.D. in 1977 from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He then moved on to a postdoctoral fellowship and then a faculty position at Cornell University Medical College. In 1991, he moved on to New York University’s Center for Neural Science. Professor LeDoux’s research has focused on the relation between emotion and memory. His work has elaborated in detail how the brain detects and responds to danger, and learns and forms memories about threats. His books, The Emotional Brain and Synaptic Self, have been translated into numerous languages and are used to guide researchers and clinicians in their efforts to understand and treat emotions. He has won numerous awards, including the 2005 International Prize of the Fyssen Foundation and the 2011 Karl Spencer Lashley Award from the American Philosophical Society, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In his spare time, Professor LeDoux is also a singer and guitarist for The Amygdaloids, a musical band of scientists that play original songs about the mind and brain.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in the Mosher Alumni House, Alumni Hall, 2nd floor.

Apr 05, 2012
Why We Care: The Biology of Social Preferences

Dr. Michael Platt is a Professor of Neurobiology and the Director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University. Professor Platt received his Ph.D. in Biological Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1994 and then did a post-doctoral fellowship at New York University working with Paul Glimcher. This work included some seminal findings on the neural response of single cells in the monkey intraparietal cortex to decision variables. Professor Platt currently studies the brain mechanisms of making decisions in both humans and non-human primates using a variety of techniques, including behavioral, neurophysiological, neuroimaging, pharmacological, and genetic techniques. His research applies principles of decision theory, derived from both evolutionary ecology and behavioral economics, to study how the brain decides between different actions. Neurophysiological studies in his lab have revealed neural correlates of stimulus and movement value in parietal cortex and cingulate cortex, neural circuits implicated in attention, emotion, and decision-making. Dr. Platt’s current work is aimed at extending these approaches to the neural correlates of risk-sensitive decision-making and social evaluation. Professor Platt is Past President of the Society for Neuroeconomics.

This lecture will be held at a time and place to be determined.

May 17, 2012
Neuroimaging of Brain-Culture Interactions

Gregory S. Berns is Distinguished Professor of Neuroeconomics and Director of the Center for Neuropolicy at Emory University, with appointments in both psychiatry and economics.  Dr. Berns received an A.B. in Physics from Princeton, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from UC Davis and an MD from UC San Diego. His postgraduate training included a post-doctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute of Biological Studies and his general psychiatry and medicine internship and adult psychiatry residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. As a neuroeconomist, Dr. Berns studies the relationship of neural systems to decision-making by using a combination of computational and functional imaging techniques. He is particularly interested in the role of the basal ganglia in processing novelty and reward and how this region guides decision-making. Current studies are focused on risky decision making and the neural effects of social messages, the neurobiology of adolescent risk-taking, and neurobiological mechanisms of political conflict. He is the author of books Satisfaction: The Science of Finding True Fulfillment and Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently and has made numerous media appearances.

This lecture will be held at 4:00 PM in Psych 1523 (please note location).

Footer Message

Copyright © The Regents of the University of California, All Rights Reserved.
UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA 93106 • (805) 893-8000